American Express is one of the most trusted financial services companies in the world, and revenues and member spending continue to rise. American Express issued its first charge card in 1958, and more than a million cards were in use within five years.
The Gold card was introduced in 1966 to meet the needs of business people and frequent travelers, and an extra-exclusive Platinum card became available in 1984. Both the Gold and Platinum cards are still popular today, as is the basic Green card option. Today, AmEx cards account for 24 percent of the total dollar value of U.S. credit card transactions.
Insider Tip: Are you in the military? If you’re on active duty, you can apply online to have the annual fee on any American Express card waived, along with other benefits granted by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
Or, even if you’re not in the military, you may be able to get your annual fee waived. Just call customer service and ask nicely to have it waived, explaining that you’ve been a good, responsible customer for some time. Or, if you’re thinking of canceling the card, you can let them know that you’d consider staying with them if they waive the fee. In some cases they may offer a different incentive, like bonus points.